Tank lining in underground storage fiber glass tanks in Colombia

The Scope of the Project

The prevention of environmental contamination caused by hazardous storage liquids in underground storage tank is an urgent topic addressed by national economies, environmental ministries and oil companies worldwide.
In Colombia a lot of underground horizontal tanks are made out of fiber glass. Many of them are single wall, and nowadays more and more newer tanks are double wall type. As consequence of the increasing rate of blended biofuels polyester original resins the tanks suffer a degradation process and many of them are broken, or the polyester is softened due to chemical attack which leads to reduction of the tensile strength.

In case of double wall fiber glass tanks with interstitial monitoring using brine, polyester usually has been damaged and a rehabilitation process is necessary before a wall reconstruction and a reactivation of the leak detection system.
Wolftank Adisa tank lining products are specially indicated for such applications thanks to their high chemical resistance against biofuel, the special bilayer woven fiberglass providing high mechanical strength and excellent adherence values due to special primers for polyester surfaces and the with specific formulation of primers, resins and mortars.

The Situation in Colombia

Fig. 3 - Construction site in Colombia
Fig. 3 – Construction site in Colombia

During 2016 in Colombia there was a revolutions in terms of filling station network property. Esso and Petrobrass decided to sell all their actives while other actors like Biomax, Terpel and Puma Energy increased their number of sites. It means that there are were revealed a lot of problems due to diligence processes. Hundreds of fiberglass tanks showed problems and shall be repaired after been tested alongside the property transfer. Wolftank Adisa introduced its products through a local partner named DMAIC. Wolftank Adisa technical and sales team met all important petrol companies in the country, always together with DMAIC sales team. In parallel Wolftank Adisa trainers travelled to Colombia and organized a knowledge and technology transfer process with DMAIC technicians on tank lining in order to support DMAIC in the implementation of the upcoming tank lining works and to prepare a pilot installation.

After the presentation of the commercial and technical solution first orders came. Wolftank Adisa technical team was ready to supervise on site DMAIC technicians and support them during first execution.
The first pilot project was for four tanks to be strengthened with a single wall tank lining in a Texaco Site: EDS Texaco El Cordobes Marinilla (Ant).
The team of DMAIC trained and supervised by Wolftank Adisa moved to the site all the technical equipment and the safety devices necessary for a safe man entry lining including compressor, masks, explosimeters, ventilators, tripod etc. The equipment was purchased according to the instructions of Wolftank Adisa and first controlled by Wolftank Adisa technicians.
Once on site, the first meetings with station managers allowed to organize routines for day by day work, in order to avoid accidents and incidents at the stations; signalling, emergency plans schedules. Once the degasification and the tank cleaning has been carried out according to the Texaco tank cleaning standards the tank was taken over for lining and the lining process begun.

In order to guarantee the perfect adherence of the Wolftank Adisa resin, the entire surface was slightly sandpapered. Afterwards the adhesion primer Adagrund Rot was applied very thin by a smooth rolling (around 0,15 mm) process. Adagrund Rot is an adhesion primer which is specially performing for applications on fiberglass tanks as it triggers a slight chemical reaction between the resin and the fiberglass and providing a chemical and not only mechanical adhesion on the fiberglass tanks.
The work continued with the application of Wolftank Adisa DOPI resin which is a non-flammable lining material applied at ambient temperatures of around 30°C and cures at the same temperature.
Wet on wet the Wolftank Adisa bi-woven fiberglass is impregnated in order to provide the structural strength of the lining. In the area of cracks there are applied 2 layer of a stripe coating (20cm large fiber glass stripes) first using the same materials in order to re-establish locally the tensile strength.

 

Once waited for drying without additional heating for at least 4 hours of reworking time the final layer is applied, ensuring an excellent presentation and reinforcing the hardness of the resin and a proper protection of the fiberglass.

The Outcome

The pilot project of 4 tanks was considered by all involved people as very successful and completed in time and without any safety issue which can be considered as critical.

After the review the project continued as initially planned and expected. 20 fiber glass tanks have been lined in a first lining campaign by DMAIC with the support of Wolftank Adisa.

Currently 2 installation teams of 6 technicians of DMAIC are working continuously in a subsequent campaign. They are followed by the Spanish division of the Wolftank Adisa Group established in Madrid.

Overall it has been highly appreciated by the Colombian customers that Wolftank Adisa offers a solution which is able to rehabilitated the fiberglass tanks with a minimum of disturbance in business continuity.

Mentioned Products & Solutions